Life in Saigon: Deep In The Cuts collaboration!
I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity of collaborating with Deep In The Cuts to create their first Vietnamese entry over the past couple of weeks.
Clayton Kemp, a fantastic street photographer himself, started Deep In The Cuts as an alternative to existing online travel guides. His goal is to curate a repository of long-form pieces written exclusively by photographers who have a deep relationship with the city being covered.
Below is an extract from my piece on my on-again, off-again home for the past 2.5 years:
A friend of mine who once visited Ho Chi Minh City described the city as: “A great many people doing a great many things.”
Week 1: “Make sure your travel insurance covers the surgical extraction of scooters and scooter drivers from your body.”
Week 2: “Prepare for the climate by spending some time on the sun.”
Week 6: “Learn how to operate a scooter under stressful circumstances. Ideally in a city undergoing bombardment and evacuation.”
Week 8: “Forget the ramblings of cultured ‘foodies’. There is no city with a better street food scene than Saigon.”
Week 12: “You’ll never want to leave. Make the necessary arrangements.”
This trajectory reflects another piece of advice I often give people asking me to suggest an itinerary: “Saigon is a shit place for a short visit, but a kickass place to live.”
The key to enjoying your time in Saigon is accepting the lack of almost anything resembling the mechanisms of Western convenience. But, for the adventurous, culturally sensitive traveller, the rewards of spending an extended period of time in HCMC eclipse these inconveniences. What waits for you here is an experience in psychotic urbanism that probably can’t be experienced anywhere outside of Southeast Asia.